What to expect
I provide an active and pragmatic approach. We clarify your therapy goals and actively work towards them.
A few of my key work values: respect, compassion, and openness
The first session is usually my chance to get to know you and what you'd like to work towards.
Psychological therapy begins with an assessment. We gather information about your concerns, history, and general life situation (e.g. family, friends, health). We always do this via an interview (sometimes using an interview guide), as well as long form and short form questionnaires and psychological tests (e.g. IQ and achievement/education) as required.
Questionnaires can be useful as they cover a wide range of information in a relatively small amount of time and highlight important issues, and they give us an idea of severity (e.g. depression or social anxiety). Questionnaires are particularly useful for Medicare referrals where we need to do a short assessment and focus on treatment. They allow us to focus on the main concerns you have, and rule out issues that are not important to you.
Outcomes: I use both symptom measures (e.g. depression score) and functional measures (your ability to do important things in life) to assess progress and outcomes. Symptom measures are useful but they don’t provide a sense of how a person is functioning (achieving self-care, work, education, family and social goals). Medicare referrals require outcome monitoring, and it also makes good sense.
I use simple measures to track how you're going from session to session. They allow us to track your progress in a consistent and reliable way. I also ask for feedback on how the sessions are working for you as we go.
There needn't be any mysteries about what happens - it's a certain type of conversation about your experiences. The people who come to see me often haven't told anyone about these experiences before, or how they are coping with these experiences.
This is psychological therapy, so I won’t tell you what to do or what to feel - we collaborate on your therapy goals
Not sure about seeing someone yet?
Perhaps you're just browsing or after some more information. Feel free to call and ask, or send an email - I don't put pressure on anyone to come an see me. Sometimes I just have a quick chat to provide some information.
Perhaps you're worried about the financial cost or social stigma about seeing a Psychologist.
If you're looking for a few simple things to get back on track then the list below might be useful. When people are willing to make In my 15 years working as a Psychologist these behaviours and in my own life too! The key is actually committing and acting on them. The difference between the life we have and the life we want is the amount of work we're willing to put in (all things considered).
What you can do now:
If things are really challenging right now, the best 3 things you can do are:
get a good night sleep - the gold standard treatment for insomnia** is waking up at the same time every day (e.g. 6am), get out of bed (don’t lie in bed staring at your phone), and get moving in your day - weekends included! Your body will respond to this routine - it’s that simple.
eat health food - see the Australian guidelines here
Start doing a few things you've been putting off.
This could be simply going for a walk for 5 mins a day, spend some time doing something meaningful (a hobby, time with friends), or going somewhere you've been avoiding.
Just getting out of the house can make a difference! Build this up over time, or if you're getting a kick out of it jump right in (i.e. fill your diary!)
Read a book! Yes reading a self-help book can actually be helpful. Again it's a matter of putting those good ideas into practice. I have a few 'resource' pages that you might find useful.
**Sateia MJ, Buysse DJ, Krystal AD, Neubauer DN, Heald JL. Clinical practice guideline for the pharmacologic treatment of chronic insomnia in adults: an American Academy of Sleep Medicine clinical practice guideline. J Clin Sleep Med. 2017;13(2):307–349.